Jewelry Articles

Top 10 Most Expensive Gemstones

September 25, 2017 - Jewelry Articles
Gemstones have played an integral part in human history. Treasured by kings and queens throughout the ages and believed to hold mystical powers, these precious stones can command sky-high prices.

But what is a gemstone?

They are precious or semi precious stones that have been cut and polished and are often used in jewelry. With a wide range of gemstones in existence, these colorful stones vary in value. Gemstone prices are dictated by their size, quality, rarity, and demand in the market. Below, we have listed the top 10 of the most expensive cut and polished gems known to mankind.


  1. Pink Diamond: Pink Star- $71.2 million
  2. Blue Diamond: Oppenheimer – $57.5 million
  3. Orange Diamond: The Orange – $35.5 million
  4. Ruby: Sunrise Ruby- $30.42 million
  5. Sapphire: Blue Belle of Asia – $17.3 million
  6. Yellow Diamond: Graff Vivid Yellow – $16.3 million
  7. Red Diamond: Moussaieff – $7 million
  8. Emerald: Rockefeller Emerald- $5.5 million
  9. Spinel: The Hope Spinel- $1.4 million
  10. Opal: Virgin Rainbow Opal- valued at $1 million

top 10 gemstones

  1. Pink Diamond: Pink Star- $71.2 million

This 59.60ct oval Fancy Vivid Pink Internally Flawless diamond sold in 2017 for $71.2million in Hong Kong. Mined in South Africa in 1999, this stone is the largest Vivid Pink diamond on record. The Pink Star set a new record for a diamond sold at auction.

  1. Blue Diamond: Oppenheimer – $57.5 million

At 14.62ct, the Oppenheimer Blue is the largest Vivid Blue to ever be sold at auction. This emerald cut diamond was named in honor of its previous owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer, whose family once controlled the legendary DeBeers company.

  1. Orange Diamond: The Orange – $35.5 million

Believed to be the world’s largest and most expensive orange diamond at 14.82ct, this pear shaped Fancy Vivid Orange diamond sold for over $30 million in 2013. Pure orange diamonds are exceptionally rare, as most orange diamonds also display a secondary color.

  1. Ruby: Sunrise Ruby- $30.42 million

Weighing 25.59cts, the Sunrise Ruby also known as the Burmese Ruby, set a new world record in 2015 when it sold for $30.42 million. The world’s most expensive ruby, this Burmese pigeon blood ruby is set in a Cartier mounting. Its name is derived from a poem written by poet Rumi.

  1. Sapphire: Blue Belle of Asia – $17.3 million

A 392.52ct cushion cut sapphire, the Blue Belle of Asia sold for an incredible $17.3 million in Geneva 2014. The most expensive sapphire in the world, the gem was discovered in Sri Lanka in 1926.

  1. Yellow Diamond: Graff Vivid Yellow – $16.3 million

A cushion Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond weighing 100ct, the Graff Vivid Yellow sold for over $16 million in 2014. Breaking the world record for the most expensive yellow diamond sold at auction, this stone was originally cut from a 190ct rough diamond in New York.

  1. Red Diamond: Moussaieff – approximately $8 million

A 5.11ct Fancy Red diamond, the Moussaieff red is the largest red diamond graded by the GIA. Red diamonds are notoriously rare, with some gemologists claiming that there are only 20 or so “true” red diamonds ever discovered. The Moussaieff sold for close to $8 million in the early 2000s, originally cut from a rough stone of 13.9ct found in Brazil.

  1. Emerald: Rockefeller emerald- $5.5 million

Sold for $5.5 million, this 18.04ct emerald is currently the most expensive emerald per carat. John D. Rockefeller initially purchased the emerald in the 1930s for his wife. An untreated, Colombian emerald, Harry Winston later bought the green jewel in June of 2017.

  1. Spinel: The Hope Spinel- $1.4 million

At 50.13ct, the Hope Spinel is a rare colored gem that set a world record in 2015 when it sold for $1.47 million. A part of the Hope Collection (featuring the famous Hope diamond, a 45.5cct blue diamond), the Hope Spinel is believed to hail from Tajikistan. 

  1. Opal: Virgin Rainbow Opal- valued at $1 million

Discovered in Australia in 2003, this incredibly rare and expensive opal glows in the dark. It exhibits a rainbow of different colors making it truly unique. The Virgin Rainbow is an opalized fossil, meaning that the opal took shape in a fossil.

how to sell expensive gemstones


There are various ways to sell your precious stones, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most popular ways to sell your gemstone include:

  • Accessible, user-friendly
  • Fees are deducted from your sale price
  • The risk of online scammers
  • Can take a long time to sell
  • A+ BBB rating with hundreds of online reviews
  • Quick process & payment (24 hours)
  • GIA-trained gemstone experts
  • We pay for insured shipping of your jewelry to our headquarters; and will return it to your doorstep at no additional cost, should you refuse our offer.
  • We buy diamonds, designer jewelry, luxury watches and handbags
  • Appointment locations are only available in the US and the UK
  • We do not purchase loose gemstones or non branded gemstone jewelry
  • Knowledgeable staff
  • Can achieve higher prices
  • Your gemstone may not be sold for its true value because potential buyers may bid just marginally higher than the last bid
  • Fees associated with selling
  • No guarantee that your item will sell
  • Local option for selling
  • Allows you to retrieve your gemstone further down the line if payments are made in a timely manner
  • A popular option if you’re behind bills and other expenses
  • Loan are usually short
  • Interest rates are high

Bio: Written by one of our diamond, designer jewelry or luxury watch experts. With over 150 years of combined experience, our experts are able to comment on trends, share industry knowledge and provide diamond, designer jewelry and luxury watch education.

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